In our society, Depression has become a commonly used term to describe a way a person feels at a given time. We all feel sad and unhappy occasionally; however, depression indicates more than a state of mind that influences all other feelings and activities, it often impacts one’s relationships and school or job performance.
Depression refers to a cluster of symptoms that indicate a general reduction in enjoyment and activities. These include: feeling irritable, sleep disturbances, appetite changes, feelings of guilt, shame, sadness, grief, loss, helplessness, exhaustion, low energy, body aches, headaches, an inability to concentrate, low motivation, not enjoying the way one used to, and feeling somewhat hopeless about the situation. In some cases, some suicidal feelings may be present. This list of symptoms is not exhaustive, and not all these symptoms need to be present for a person to be considered depressed.
In teens, depression can be evident by way of decreased interest in activities, changes in grades, and changes in the way one interacts with friends and family. Irritability and inability to focus can be another sign. Sometimes, depressive feelings lead to getting in trouble constantly, and defying authority. Nearly one in eight teens is known to experience depressive symptoms. Moreover, it can affect any person of any age, any color, class, or religion. However, women tend to experience depression more than men do.
If you feel that someone you know is exhibiting signs of depression, provide him or her support, and encourage them to seek professional help. There are several successful ways to help a person overcome his or her depressive symptoms, depending on his or her unique situation and needs. It is important that the person feeling symptoms of depression find a therapist or psychiatrist with whom they feel comfortable. Last but not the least; depression is not permanent if appropriate care and treatment are provided.
Submitted by Sachi Jhaveri-Mehta, MA, PSYS, LLP; a therapist and doctoral student at Wentworth & Associates, P.C., a counseling center in Utica, Michigan.
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